State Department of Health to provide more support for long-term care facilities' COVID-19 response
April 7, 2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has signed a contract with ECRI, an independent, nonprofit health services research organization based in suburban Philadelphia, to help with the COVID-19 response across the state, particularly in long-term care facilities, as the pandemic continues.
“It’s imperative that the state do all that we can to protect all Pennsylvanians, but especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19, and so the Department of Health made the right decision to enlist experts in the field of infection control to help protect those in the state’s long-term care facilities,” Governor Tom Wolf said.
With decades of experience in assisting during outbreaks, ECRI will provide individualized infection control and prevention assistance to long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania. Staffers will be available over the phone for 12 hours a day on weekdays and will coordinate with the Department Operations Center, currently providing support to those working in coronavirus response. ECRI will also help the department evaluate PPE and research different ways to maximize available resources.
“COVID-19 is a very serious disease and we are seeing a continuous rise in the number of cases and deaths each day,” Secretary of Health Dr. Levine said. “One of our most vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania is those in nursing home facilities. Partnering with ECRI will help us continue to provide the necessary resources to those on the frontline of the COVID-19 response in facilities across the state.”
As of April 6, there are 12,980 positive cases of COVID-19 in 65 counties and there are 162 deaths. There are 70,874 patients who have tested negative to date. County-specific information and a statewide map are available at http://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
For the latest information for individuals, families, businesses and schools, visit “Responding to COVID-19” on pa.gov.
The Wolf Administration is stressing the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
• Clean surfaces frequently.
• Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell. If you need to go out and will be around other people, wear a mask.
Pennsylvania residents are being encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at http://www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts